We came up with a new controlled release fertiliser composition to meet the nutritional needs of crops.

The challenge

Poor stability in coated fertilisers

Fertiliser is a substance that comprises of one or more plant nutrients and is capable of improving and accelerating plant growth.

Our fertiliser composition leads to better farming results.

The excess solubility of pure fertilisers in water limits their use, so in order to minimise this, fertilisers may be provided as fertiliser compositions within a coating layer.

Unfortunately, coated fertilisers can have poor mechanical stability which means handling operations may damage the coating layer. In addition, they expose the fertiliser to leaching and have an unpredictable release rate which makes them incapable of meeting variable plant nutrient demands (i.e. temperature and pH).

There is a need to provide a fertiliser composition that can be controlled and released at a predictable rate.

Our response

Applying metal organic frameworks

We have developed a controlled release fertiliser composition consisting of metal organic frameworks (MOFs) to combat the disadvantages associated with fertiliser coatings.

The fertiliser compositions release fertiliser into a plant growth medium, such as soil, by a different mechanism than traditional fertiliser compositions. This is achieved by controlling the diffusion rate of fertilisers from within the MOF into the soil.

Within the framework of two or more different MOFs the fertiliser composition can be released at different rates, therefore providing a fertiliser that can meet changing demands of plant nutrients.

The release of fertiliser can be more predictive and customised based on the nature of the MOF and the temperature.

The results

Improving fertiliser composition

Our technology allows a high loading capacity and for the controlled release of fertiliser compositions, with different fertilisers released at different stages. In addition, variable rainfall levels do not substantially affect the release rate of the fertiliser.

The MOF component is cheap to produce and can be made fully biodegradable. This technology is providing efficiency and productivity benefits for a more sustainable agriculture industry.

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